PC Thompson, the off-duty police officer who happened to be in The Magdala on the night of the shooting, miles off his patch,and who arrested Ruth Ellis, told Detective Inspector Davies on 20th April 1955, that he had noticed a blonde woman wearing spectacles:
“She looked through a rippled type glass window of the saloon bar near the door…I could not see her face clearly as she was very close to the glass.”
My photograph shows an actual portion of the glass at the Magdala at that time. I tried, unsuccessfully, to look through from inside the building, and from outside, but could not distinguish anything from either side.
At the magistrates court PC Thompson stated:”I noticed a fair haired woman with spectacles looking through the saloon bar window.” He omits details about the rippled glass.
At the Old Bailey there were further subtle omissions. The rippled glass and Ruth’s appearance is omitted:”I noticed a woman looking through the saloon bar window…” I took this photograph, for which I was given special permission, outside the Magdala pub in Hampstead. It shows the plaque on the wall (far left) that was erected to mark the position of the shooting of David Blakely on 10th April 1955, twenty feet downhill from the main entrance, where the shooting was previously said to have taken place.
‘Witness’ Mrs Gladys Kensington Yule could not possibly have seen the action at the far end of the pub from where she was standing at the junction of South Hill Park and Parliament Hill.
The plaque was stolen shortly before the Appeal which Muriel Jakubait brought in 2003 but later found by the police following the result of the unsuccessful Appeal. The plaque is no longer on display. Four screw holes (not to be mistaken for bullet holes) which held the plaque in position, are clearly visible.
Ruth Ellis’s home – Sanderstead in Surrey.
According to the stories spun and repeated for 50 years, Ruth [Neilson] first met George Ellis at the Court Club in London in 1950. I now have evidence that Ruth had actually known George for several years before. A Sanderstead doctor who knew George Ellis saw Ruth at George’s Sanderstead Hill house/dental practice well before 1950.
Elm Cottage in Penn – spy Donald Maclean’s family home.
Rare photograph of ‘Granneys’ the Blakely family’s rented home in Witheridge Lane, Penn – given to me by a lady who stayed there during school holidays in the 1940s. Curiously the Blakelys renamed it ‘Albi‘ for the duration of their short stay, then renamed it Granneys when they moved out. The Griffith-Jones family lived closeby in ‘Drews’. Their son Mervyn Griffith-Jones assisted the prosecuting counsel, Christmas Humphreys, to hang Ruth Ellis at her trial. Griffith-Jones also prosecuted at the Stephen Ward trial in 1963. To complete the upper crust, establishment enclave in Witheridge Lane in Penn, Rt Hon The Earl Howe of RAC fame, lived at ‘Hatchitts‘ opposite ‘Granneys’.
Donald Maclean was buried in Penn churchyard.
‘Beaconshaw‘ was Soviet Super Spy Donald Maclean’s Tatsfield home, on the Surrey/Kent border, December 1950 to May 1951. According to Tatsfield residents, he often travelled back from London on the 706 Green Line bus and drank alone at the Old Ship. Since the publication of our book, I have discovered that Ruth used to visit Tatsfield. According to the book Tales of Tatsfield Ruth was an acquaintance of its author, the late Doris Geary. She wrote, “On the morning of the hanging, together with my husband…we took our car and drove along the Kent coast, in an effort to forget time and what was happening elsewhere. I kept telling myself it was not really my worry, but I had known Ruth as a kind, goodlooking woman; we had laughed and talked together, and we had liked each other.”
This house, next door to Dapdune in Leatherhead, was commandeered by the government during the 2nd World War for the Home Guard’s headquarters. It belonged to General Ironside, one of Churchill’s generals. My picture shows the late Mr John Steel outside the house. He served in the Home Guard with Desmond Cussen – a fascinating titbit omitted by authors of previous books about Ruth Ellis.